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due reward, and vice shall meet with its merited punishment.
What the reason of man thus suggests, revelation abundantly confirms. There we are taught that “ God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world by that man whom he hath ordained”-that the dead will be raised from their dusty beds and sisted before bis tribunal. The appointed hour is on the wing! And distant as the period may seem to an unthinking world, it will at last arrive-it will arrive sooner than is anticipated—at an hour when it is least expected—at a moment when men shall be unprepared. We look at it through the vista of ages, and lull ourselves to rest by the remoteness of the prospect. But every thing comes to a close. The longest life bas a point at which it terminates; the longest continued monarchy the hour of its dissolution. The most prolonged cycle comes to the close of its revolution. So shall it be with the time which shall intervene between this and the judgment. The last sun will go down over a slumbering world. The last night will close over its inhabitants. The last morn shall dawn upon its living population. Then shall the sky cleave asunder to the archangel. Then shall the last trump be sounded, the blast of which shall be heard throughout creation. The marble monuments which enshrine the reliques of the mighty dead shall be rent asunder—the graves be opened, and the ashes of the dead spring to life. The dead shall arise, and come to judgment. The judge and his celestial attendants will be there. The devil and his angels will be there. All of every rank and attainment, of every colour and clime will be there. This congregation will be there.
Oh, who may imagine “ the vastness of the convocation, the augustness of the assembly, the splendours of the scene, the tremendous interest of the occasion. But what are the clangor of the trumpet, the blazing elements, the rushing together of the starry host, or 'the reverberations of ten thousand thunders. What the gathering together of the universe, the stupendous magnificence of the judgment, or the soul-appalling apparatus erected for the final, the direful execution to that soul which is now trembling under the all-piercing glance of the high and holy Jehovah. Consciousness of sins, long consigned by the offender to oblivion, absorbs every thought, every feeling.” Sins which were forgotten, or laughed down amid the roar of merriment, now arise on his troubled and astonished vision. All that he ever felt, or thought, or did, now rises like an apparition to his affrighted soul. “ One emotion, one all-absorbing perception" precludes all that is terrible without, and confines his attention to all that is terrible within. It is his sins, the sins of his youth, the sins of his age, the sins which he wickedly, and desperately, and greedily committed, despite of knowledge, and conscience, and warning, that now transfix his soul-feed the unquenchable flame-give terrible activity to the undying worm, and stigmatise him as an object of everlasting shame and contempt. Ob, sinful men, as you would escape the anguish and the agony of this dreadful dayas you would avoid the public and indiscriminate disclosure of all that is base, and worthless, and wicked in your character and conductmas you would be rescued from the place, the company, and the torments of the damned, we beseech you to repent. “ Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die.”
Christian bretbren--you who have already returned to the Lord—the above appeals have properly no pertinency to you. The prospect of the Advent of the Judge is to you one of exaltation and triumph. O bless the Lord, then, for his redeeming grace. Cultivate that grace. Mortify the remains of sin. Be dissatisfied with yourselves so long as one spot of it is on your garments, of which ye might be ashamed in that day. Let not only a crown, but a crown of peculiar splen
dour, in the kingdom of God, be the object of your holy ambition. Be zealous. And reflect, that one of the principal means of thus improving yourselves, is to be active in the work of reclaiming others. Both by personal ministrations, then, and by concurrent exertions with Christian friends, in proclaiming the truths of the Bible, show that ye are convinced that sinners are perishing, that ye deplore their condition, and that ye desire their salvation. If sin appeared hateful and dishonouriug to God in your own conduct, it must present the same appearance in the conduct of others, and excite your determination to have it destroyed. Let it be one of the labours of your lives, then, to call sinners to repentance; remembering, that “ they that turn many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.”
THE GOSPEL MINISTRY.
BY THE REV. JAMES JARVIE, CARLUKE.
[Preached on the day of his Induction.]
COLOSSIANS, i. 28. "... Christ...whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
Made a minister of Christ's body, which is the church, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God, I think it incumbent on me this day to set forth the intention, the subject, the manner, and the end of gospel preaching.
The comprehensive passage which I have read as the text, was employed by Paul with the same intent, and appeared to me most naturally to branch itself into the following particolars answering to these topics :- First, The office of the gospel ministry, “We preach." Second, The subject of the gospel ministry, “ Christ, whom we preach.” Third, The manner of conducting this work, “Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom.” Fourth, The end or intention of this ministry, “ That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
In humble dependence upon God, and with the fullest reliance on the sympathy and forbearance of my people in the
trying situation in which I now stand, I proceed to consider these particnlars in their order.
While I endeavour to magnify to you my sacred office, I pray that both you and I may be led devoutly to feel, and permanently to remember the weighty responsibilities which our knowledge lays upon us severally to discharge the relative duties of a faithful pastor and an affectionate flock, whereunto, with Paul, let me say, “I shall also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."
I. Agreeably to this plan, I am First to describe the institution of preaching.
As the term preaching is employed by New Testament writers, it denotes the oral delivery of an inspired message -the unfolding to men in a direct and authoritative manner a divine revelatioo. The plain and positive assertion of the doctrines which they taught, distinguished the preaching of Christ and his apostles from the philosophizing of the Greeks, and the traditionary glossing of the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees. If they made knowo new truths in religion, they were such as had not been revealed by flesh and blood, but by the Spirit of God. If they delivered commentaries upon truths already revealed, they were such as enlightened and sanctified reason gathered from previous revelations. They reasoned out of their own Scriptures—they compared spiritual things with spiritual. Paul repeatedly labours to establish a broad line of distinction between the enticing words of man's wisdom--the wisdom of words—the wisdom of men—the wisdom of this world—the words which man's wisdom teacheth; and that speech, and that preaching which was in demonstration of the spirit and of power-which stood in the power of God-which was the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory-spoken in words which the Holy Ghost taught. Such was the distinguishing characteristic of